OMB gears up for year 2000's date shift

HERSHEY, Pa.--The Office of Management and Budget is drafting
guidelines to ensure that the turn of the century does not turn into a government
computing catastrophe.

Bruce McConnell, chief of OMB's Information Policy Branch, said agencies need to start
altering the calendar dates in their computer programs to handle the change for the year

Speaking at the General Services Administration's annual IRM Conference here, McConnell
said agencies should prepare now for the date shift effect on computations. The Federal
IRM Policy Council plans to discuss the problem, and OMB will issue formal instructions
for making the programming changes, McConnell said.

"Guidance is needed--even if it is only to say that when agencies are doing
routine programming changes they should fix the date," McConnell said. "It's not
a trivial process, and early indications are that it will be a bigger task than most
people expect."

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